The use of renewable and local energy sources

Development of a biogas pilot plant for the energy recovery of urban, agricultural, livestock, and industrial organic waste, with the aim of reducing energy dependence and promoting sustainable development in the islands of Macaronesia and West Africa

  • The Valencian energy engineering company Genia Global Energy together with Grupo Cobra are responsible for the technical design, assembly and installation in Nuakchot.
  • The pilot plant in Mauritania, will have another identical plant in the Canary Islands, which is intended for research on energy self-sufficiency and waste management.
  • A biogas plant is capable of converting organic waste into sustainable gas and organic compost and fertiliser.
  • A solution is being sought for common problems of high energy dependence and serious limitations to classic waste management systems such as storage in landfills in archipelagos such as Macaronesia and the Canary Islands.

Primeras imágenes de la planta piloto de biogás

The Technological Institute of the Canary Islands, Genia Global Energy energy engineering and the Cobra Group are designing and building an anaerobic biodigestion pilot plant for the production of biogas for research purposes from organic waste for the Université des Sciences, de Technologie et de Médecine (USTM) of Nouachok, the capital of Mauritania.

This action is part of the ENERMAC project aimed at promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency for the sustainable development of the islands of Macaronesia (the Portuguese Azores, Madeira and Salvajes, as well as Cape Verde and the Canary Islands) and West Africa.

The ENERMAC project which includes a line of activity for energy recovery from waste, plans to build two biogas pilot plants, one in the Canary Islands and this plant in Mauritania, where the most appropriate processes for obtaining methane will be analysed, depending on the composition of the organic waste available in each territory. It will also allow technicians to be trained in this technology to promote the development of biogas projects in the country.

Project information:

  • Acronym: ENERMAC (project website)
  • Project title: Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency for the Sustainable Development of West Africa and the Macaronesian Islands
  • The project (with code MAC/1.1a/117) is financed by the program INTERREG MAC 2014-2020
  • Initiative coordinated by the Canary Islands Government, through the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC) (SPAIN)
  • 15 partners
  • Final Approved Budget: 2,792,463.22 €
  • Financing INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 Program, European Regional Development Fund-ERDF (85%): 2.373.593,74 €
  • Specific objectives: (1) Energy Planning, (2) Rational use of energy and (3) Analysis of Electrical Networks and Microgrids

The archipelagos that make up Macaronesia, including the Canary Islands, have common problems such as high energy dependence and serious limitations to classic waste management systems such as storage in landfills. Under these circumstances, the fermentation of organic waste in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic biodigestion) is one of the solutions for energy independence (together with other renewable sources such as wind or sun), as it is capable of producing a large quantity of renewable methane gas (the only energy from renewable sources that can be stored and used to produce heat, electricity or be used for mobility regardless of sun and wind conditions) and also offers a solution to the ecological management of urban, agricultural, livestock and industrial organic waste.

From the data obtained with this pilot plant and the one in the Canary Islands, it will be possible to determine the most efficient processes for obtaining gas from the most common organic waste in each territory, using it to obtain a greater value in the form of renewable gas, compost and biological fertiliser, contributing to energy and environmental sustainability.

In addition to producing gas with the potential to be recovered in the form of energy, the biogas plant, which will be installed and in operation by the month of April, will convert waste into organic compost and fertiliser, both of which are products with economic value and which also return to the agriculture and industry cycles, introducing the concept of circular economy in waste management, which is especially important in these territories.